Taiho file photo

Taiho

CountryJapan
Ship ClassTaiho-class Aircraft Carrier
BuilderKawasaki Heavy Industries
Laid Down10 Jul 1941
Launched7 Apr 1943
Commissioned7 Mar 1944
Sunk19 Jun 1944
Displacement29770 tons standard; 37270 tons full
Length855 feet
Beam90 feet
Draft31 feet
Speed33 knots
Crew1751
Armament12x99mm 65-cal anti-aircraft, 51x25mm anti-aircraft
Aircraft84

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Taiho was among the most beautiful aircraft carriers built by Japan during WW2. Her distinct design, most notably the first to incorporate a closed hurricane bow, contributed to her aesthetic greatly. She was engaged at the Battle of the Philippines Sea only three months after her commission as the flagship of Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa. While launching aircraft, American submarine Albacore fired a spread of six torpedoes at her. Pilot Sakio Komatsu who had just been launched by Taiho saw the spread the six torpedoes and dived for one of them, but it resulted in failure. One of the torpedoes hit, jamming the ship's forward aircraft elevator and filling the elevator pit with gasoline, water, and aviation fuel, but since the armored flight deck was undamaged, Ozawa ordered launching operations to continue. The damage control team then made a fatal mistake. Believing that the best way to disperse gasoline fumes was to open up the elevator to the ship's ventilation systems, the novice damage control team leader filled the ship with flammable vapor. At 1330 on 19 Jun 1944, the vapor was ignited, and the entire ship erupted in an explosion. The ship began sinking very quickly. Ozawa wanted to go down with the ship, but his staff was able to convince him to transfer his flag to cruiser Haguro. After Ozawa left, a second explosion took place, and she sank astern shortly after, taking the lives of 1,650 men.

Source: Wikipedia.

Taiho Operational Timeline

7 Mar 1944 Taiho was commissioned into service.
6 Apr 1944 Taiho became the flagship of the Third Fleet.

Photographs

Taiho underway, date unknown, photo 1 of 2; note Shokaku-class carrier in backgroundTaiho underway, date unknown, photo 2 of 2




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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Anonymous says:
    11 Jul 2007 08:43:29 PM

    given time, the taiho and her sister ships would have been a challenge to the us navy.
  2. Anonymous says:
    26 Jul 2009 09:44:37 AM

    True, her radial armored eck and modern features would have made a whole class of such ships a pretty eqaul match to any US carriers of the time.
  3. Anonymous says:
    4 Feb 2010 12:48:03 PM

    A modern carrier, but too little too late. The US was cranking them out much, much faster at this stage of the war.
  4. Paul Lee says:
    8 Mar 2010 10:40:29 AM

    She was the only one of her class, uniquely designed with a flight deck similar to a modern aircraft carrier. Sadly she was lost during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
  5. bb_22minnesota says:
    18 Nov 2010 11:39:46 AM

    I doubt that it would've made much diffrence they were running out of planes and men, even IF they had lasted longer, they wouldn't of had men.
  6. Wild Bill Cox says:
    28 Sep 2011 04:25:05 AM

    A carrier cannot operate without the support of lesser ships dedicated to the AntiAircraft and AntiSubmarine roles. It is, in effect, merely the centerpiece of an advanced and integrated "all arms" task force, the coordination of which occupies the force commander's efforts to the exclusion of all else. The events of World War 2 indicate that such a task force must also be equipped with the latest in RaDAR and SoNAR technologies, without which it is extremely vulnerable to spoiling attacks by concealed submarines and to enemy air strikes. Once such an attack succeeds in scattering the elements of the task force, the carrier(s) is indecently exposed to further, more concentrated, attacks by enemy assets, usually resulting in its destruction. Between 1941 and the middle of 1942 Nipon Kaigun (the Japanese High Seas Fleet) was able to attend to these diverse needs in an effectual and timely manner. After this period, however, there was a distinct lack of trained pilots capable of oceanic operations and little opportunity of creating another such cadre, exacerbated by the imprudent tactic of burning out the remaining experienced veterans by means of continuous service in war zones. Without trained veterans rotating back home to train new pilots the Japanese carrier force became a "paper tiger". Therefore, despite Taiho's modernity and capability, she was cursed by the other lacks afflicting the carrier task force's various elements--not least of which was the dearth of pilots experienced in Carrier Operations.
  7. Anonymous says:
    21 May 2014 02:43:13 PM

    What happened to the Taiho is comparable to what happened to the Bismarck. Both ships were very well-designed, but they were not very well-handled.
  8. Anonymous says:
    9 Jun 2014 02:33:07 PM

    Most of the information given here is accurate, but some figures are off. The Taiho was designed to carry 84 planes, but in action, she only carried 65. Also, only between 600 and 660 of her crew were lost when she sank, not 1,650. For proof of this, go the IJN's web-page.

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More on Taiho
Personnel:
» Yoshimi Minami
» Jisaburo Ozawa

Event(s) Participated:
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot

Partner Sites Content:
» Taiho Tabular Record of Movement

Aircraft Carrier Taiho Photo Gallery
Taiho underway, date unknown, photo 1 of 2; note Shokaku-class carrier in background
See all 2 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Taiho



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